While this is one of the best Flips, it's still a FLip, which has significant disadvantages over other palmcorders:
1) It is not expandable -- which is unique among these devices. Even $15 Chinese generic models usually have an SD slot. Once you run outof memory, that's it. You either have to start deleting videos or find a computer to download them. THere are no built-in editing features for your to get rid of junk footage to regain memory.
2) More importantly, you can't remove a memory card to download, share or transport videos. That's inconvenient since it means you can't just put the card into digital photo frame to play videos. NOr can you easily give your videos to a friend until you're by a computer. This can be a problem for journalists, for example, who sometimes need to quickly give their most recent footage for editing, while continuing to use the recorder.
3) Most importantly, since Cisco has discontinued the Flips, support will be non-existent in the near future. IN other words, no new drivers will be developed. What happens then , when you upgrade to WIndows 8? It may not be compatible with this Flip. With any other recorder, you can simply remove the memory card and copy the files. No such luck with this. If this Flip is not recognized over USB, you'll need to find an older computer to download.
4) Again, unique among handcorders, Flips DON'T TAKE STILL PHOTOS!!! And again, even the cheapest Chinese models bought through eBay have a still mode. But Flips don't. Instead, you have to go to your computer and do a "frame capture" while playing the video. That's not only inconvenient, but the photos are usually of poorer quality. Furthermore, you have no idea how the photo looks so you wouldn't know if you have to re-take the photo until you're by your computer. With a normal model, you get instant results so you can re-take if necessary. WORST, this means that you have to take a video every time you need a photo. THAT'S A HUGE WASTE OF MEMORY (that's not even expandable!!!).
According to the description:
"Capture photos using the easy Snapshot feature: You can grab a still-image photo from any of the 60 frames that comprise each second of your video"
What they don't mention is that the "Snapshot feature" is not built into the Flip. It's part of the software installed on your computer.
5) The famous Flip USB arm is a stupid feature because it is delicate and non-replaceable. Very rarely do people have the desk space to have this jutting out of your laptop. And putting it in a desktop means that it's suspended in the air by the arm alone, risking breakage. A USB extension cord is then needed, which defeats the whole point of this built-in USB arm. Furthermore, unless your laptop's USB port is at the perfect height, having this plugged into your laptop means that it's bending your computer's USB port (and its USB arm) under its weight. Not good. That can break the port and the Flip. Using a simple old fashion USB port means that you can buy a replacement cord for about $1 on ebay. On the other hand, if this USB arm breaks, you have a paperweight (especially since it's the only way to download videos since IT DOESN'T USE MEMORY CARDS!!!). Or do what the Creative Vado did: Have a compartment for a built in cord. Then you'll have the cord always with you, which is the supposed advantage of the Flip arm. Frankly, that claim is stupid since most people wil need to bring a along the USB extension anyway.
6) You cannot adjust the resolution or frame rate, meaning you don't have the choice to sacrifice resolution for video length. With most palmcorders, you can choose a lower resolution or frame rate. That allows for longer videos. But with this you must use the default HD 60fps setting, limiting the capacity to 1 hour max. And if you have a lot of movement, the capacity is even less because movement is not as compressible. This is stupid because you really don't need 60fps unless there is fast movement, i.e sports. What a waste of space. It's even worse when you consider that the memory is non-expandable.
7) Finally, like all palmcorders, you can't pause during recording. This problem is not unique to the Flip. Most digital cameras cannot pause either (with Samsung's being a notable exception). That means more junk footage and wasted memory. It also means lots of little snippets instead of one video when it is in fact, one event. That makes organization annoying, and time consuming because you will have to concantenate all the snippets. Furthermore, you can't just play an entire session for instant presentations since since many video apps don't automatically advance to the next video like a slide show. You'll have to manually forward to each new snippet. But again, this is a flaw that is present in all handcorders.
All in all, the Flip is a poor choice that's more form than function.